Assignments 2012

Assignment categories:

Catalyst CollectIt : Catalyst Grade Sheet

Technology Assignments

Assignment 1

To be done in pairs.

Identify six different websites that will form the basis of much of your analysis this quarter. There should be one from each of these genres. At least three of the sites must be based upon or incorporate WordPress or a blog.

  • an e-commerce web site (must have online ordering)
  • an entertainment web site (such as for a movie)
  • a government web site
  • a news media web site
  • a non-profit web site
  • a professional services site

On this course website, create a page for each of the websites.

The page title should be the site/company name.
The parent (Page Attributes, under the “publish button”) should be syllabus -> assignments -> web site genres. [So the url will include this string: syllabus/assignments-2012/web-site-genres/]

Include the following information for each site (example – no one gets to use Etsy!).

  • Site name and description
  • Site URL
  • Site type
  • Homepage screenshot (how to take a screenshot – utilities, Skitch (Mac) or Jing (Mac/PC)
  • Design overview
  • Audience (your deduction)
  • Business/Site Goals (your deduction)
  • Social media integration
  • Technologies used (your deduction)
  • Team members (only one person’s name will be associated with the blog post)
  • Reviews or analyses of the site

Publish the post and then copy the URL.

Navigate to the 2011 web site genres summary page and add your web sites to the appropriate sections. Keep these alphabetical by first letter of site name, such as “Washington Post” or “Avatar” or “EFF”. Link the site name to your site’s page. Follow the name of the site with the team member names.

Due 5 pm Wednesday 17 October  Thursday October 18

Graded on completeness; late assignments not accepted.
Total points: 50

  1. Anna/Flair
  2. Annette/Linda
  3. Brad/Iku
  4. Daimon/Lukindo
  5. Dawn/Fina
  6. Ian/Jake
  7. Ranjan/James

Assignment 2

To be done in pairs (same pair as assignment 1).

Pick one genre for in-depth aesthetic (competitive) analysis. Use the site that you selected as well as at least two sites from other students. What are the similarities in visual design? What are the differences? How effective is the visual design? Develop at least one scenario to test the design, which must include who you have determined is the audience segment; what constitutes “success”? Give evidence for your judgment.

On the course blog, create a page for this assignment. Analyze each website; link your page to the summary page, Web Site Genre Analysis.

Once you have the data, then think about how to best present the results. At a minimum, each of the three sites needs:

  • Org name, URL, home page screen shot
  • Scenario
  • Analytical summary, including “do-s” and “don’t-s”

Due 9 am Wednesday, 14 21 November (6 pm)
Graded on completeness, quality of analysis; late assignments not accepted.
Total points: 50

Discussion Leader

Each student will research and lead discussion on a web-related technology; sign up in week 1 class. Short (5-10 minutes) explanation of the technology, how it is used, why it’s important. Create a PPT or PDF and post to Create a summary post on this course blog (link to the Slideshare post) as resource/reference and categorize it as “geekspeak“. Posts are due before the class session.

Assignments here; check out the prior year’s presentations.

  • Sunday 14 October : 1-6 : LAMP [Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP] & CSS & FTP
  • Wednesday 31 October : 7-9-12 : Cookies (State Management ), HTML5, RSS
  • Wednesday 14  November : 13-14 : Cloud Computing, Google Webmaster Tools
  • Sunday 18 November : 10-12 : API, DNS record, Semantic Web

Term Project

Each student will install WordPress on a web server. Students will select a theme, install it and customize its CSS. Students will select and install widgets/plugins. The site should be hosted at HostGator, FatCow or MediaTemple. NO SITES AT GODADDY – it is not designed for WordPress. I have to minimize the number of hosts because of support requirements.

Deliverables to include a project plan, competitive analysis, incremental milestones and a “lessons learned” reflection. The final site will be graded based on aesthetics, usability, social network integration and creativity.

Project Plan – incorporates elements from readings and assignments. Identifies audience, outlines project goals. Identifies competitive sites and analysis that includes at least one scenario/use case (this is what I will use to assess the site) and three personas.

  • 75 points : all components present, no typos/grammar errors, demonstrates creative thought and initiative (beyond minimum)
  • 65 points : all components present, minimal errors, average response
  • 55 points : missing components or major errors or below-average response
  • 45 points : missing components and major errors or below-average response

Web Site – functional web site with a working home page, an “about” page (may be called something else) and at least one other page. Must have social media integration; does not have to include a blog. Must have plugins. Assessed on aesthetics, usability, functionality, social network integration and creativity.

  • 100 points : Above average design, usable for primary use case, functional/SN integration, demonstrates creative thought and initiative (beyond bare bones)
  • 90 points : Aesthetically pleasing, usable for primary use case, functional/SN integration
  • 80 points: Lacking in one area: Aesthetically pleasing, usable for primary use case, functional/SN integration
  • 70 points: Lacking in more than one area: Aesthetically pleasing, usable for primary use case, functional/SN integration


  • 25 points: 18 November precis
  • 10 points: 12 December : short post to course blog announcing that the project is live (link must work)
  • 40 points (maximum): 12 December : “lessons learned” reflection to be posted to Catalyst CollectIt


Part (30 points) of the participation grade awarded based on two posts to course web site; posts should be relevant to course topics (design, usability, web technologies) and spread out throughout the quarter (only one allowed per week). The other (45 points) part of the participation grade is based on in-class participation.

For blog posts, use the existing categories and create tags to customize information.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: